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"Under the Electric Sky": The High Cost of Musical Enlightenment 

Wednesday, Jun 25 2014

Having so cordially chronicled the Justin Bieber and Katy Perry experiences, concert-doc filmmakers Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz now turn their souvenir-factory style of production to America's largest music festival, Las Vegas' Electric Daisy Carnival, to which hundreds of thousands of flamboyant DayGlo-bedecked EDM pilgrims routinely travel from all corners of the globe. Last year, these included a young man in a wheelchair, a young woman with social anxiety, a young couple who'd been living in separate cities for six months, an older couple who'd met at EDC years earlier and finally decided to get married there, some bros in an RV, and the requisite handful of polyamorous Californians. They all seem pretty adorable, or at least eager to serve as promotional pawns, and you'd have to be a real jerk with a lot of spare time to want to refute their testimony about three days of "eat, sleep, rave, repeat" being an oasis of spiritual liberation. Still, there's something slightly queasy-making in how this film summons the tireless piety of a church-recruitment pamphlet to describe what basically amounts to Burning Man as a business model. Cutforth and Lipsitz don't much get into cultural or economic context, so there's a lot of deep 3D focus and a lot of shallowness. Non-ravers who think the music tedious will at least concede that this movie does it justice.

About The Author

Jonathan Kiefer

SF Weekly movie critic Jonathan Kiefer is on Twitter: @kieferama and of course @sfweeklyfilm.


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